Updated: Feb 26
What is a Multisensory Story?
A multisensory story immerses the story explorer by telling a story using words and sensory stimuli (story props), connecting the individual to literature, culture and topic in a way that is meaningful to their lives.
Who Are Multisensory Stories For?
Multisensory stories are aimed at individuals with special educational needs and learning disabilities from curious preschoolers to teenagers with complex needs. The stories form an excellent base on which to scaffold learning, providing opportunities for the individual to work towards their personal learning goals and targets.
The stories are also suitable for dementia patients in residential settings. The story ‘A Train Ride Through India’ was originally written to help a support worker make a connection with her client who had spent her childhood in India.
Are the Stories Only for Use in Educational Settings?
Absolutely not! The stories and poems are fully resourced, step by step guides, making them the perfect resource for Parents, Siblings, Guardians, Childminders, Early Years Educators, Teachers, HLTA’s, TA's, Speech Therapists, Play Therapists, Support Workers, Activity Coordinators, Storytellers, Librarians and anyone with an interest in exploring storytelling through the senses in a fun and engaging way!
Why Rhyming Multisensory Stories?
The combination of sensory stimuli, listening to the rhyme and rhythm and the repetitive structure of the stories, supports memory and aids learning, playing a crucial role in the development of early communication language skills; joint attention, eye-contact, turn-taking, anticipation and the learning of concepts.
What Are the Benefits of Multisensory Stories?
Storytelling builds a bond between the storyteller and the story explorer enhancing well-being and enriching experiences.
Exposure to sensory stimuli allows the listener to engage with new experiences to calm and alert the sensory system in a safe, therapeutic environment and use their senses to understand the world around them.
Can Multisensory Stories Build Communication Skills?
Sensory stories are an excellent motivating tool for encouraging alternative communication systems, early communication skills, Makaton, sign language and to facilitate PECS exchanges. The stories build the confidence of learners with speech impediments and communication difficulties as they have a physical (story) prop to support the words they are saying.
Can Multisensory Stories Inform on Needs & Care Plans
This bank of motivators can calm a person when anxious or stressed and will help identify any triggers. You may seek to avoid some triggers and to work on de-sensitising others that may be necessary e.g. teeth brushing, through repeated exposure to build tolerance. When used in a safe setting rhyming multi-sensory stories can be used to prepare the listener for visits out of their daily routine such as getting a haircut or the dentist.
How Do I Tell A Multisensory Story?
The multisensory stories are written as easy to follow, step-by-step guides. Slowly and clearly read each sentence introducing the story prop as the corresponding appears.
Click here for more information.
How do I source my Story Props?
The stories and poems are fully resourced and with different options suggested for props. The props are all low budget items that can be found around the home, garden or classroom. You can also add your own props!
Click here for more information on sourcing story props.
You do not have to complete the whole story in one sitting. You can explore one or two sentences adding to the story in future sessions, it may take several sessions to complete the story.
Allow Processing Time
Repetition is the key! Repeat the same story for a minimum of twice a week for a month then change to a different story.
Be allergy aware! Like any other activity, ensure the learner is always supervised by a responsible adult.
The interactions should be led by the listener who should be allowed to participate without expectation. Never force stimuli and stop the activity if the listener shows signs that they are not enjoying the session.
Focus on having fun and it will become an educational experience!
Where do I Start?
Click here to visit the Story Library.
All stories and poems are FREE and fully resourced and include sensory themed extension activities.
Decide if you want to explore the weather prepare for a haircut or a trip to the dentist, explore the Covid-19 resources, take a sensory journey through India or join the Three Little Pigs on their adventures!
Click to download the story or poem in an eBook format.
I have a Question?
Your queries, questions comments and feedback are always welcome!
Click the 'Let's Chat' button to the bottom left of the screen.